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From Pastor Kent’s Desk

I always get a little “hitch-in-my-heart” when I see the young ones going back to school again. I remember when I was their age, and the wonder of the summer which never seemed to end. It stretched out from the end of school in early June until after my birthday at the end of August. Amazingly, I never ran out of things to do, even if most of them were rather mundane. My folks and I would always take a vacation trip every summer – we went all over the west and mid-west. We never ventured east of Minnesota, though, where one of my Dad’s sisters lived. But, travel we did, and it laid the foundation of the wanderlust which still fires my imagination.
I mentioned recently that I had reread John Steinbeck’s, “Travels with Charley: In Search of America.” Written in 1960, it’s the story of Steinbeck’s journey across America to see how much of the America of his youthful travels of the 1920’s and 1930’s was still around. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country; with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. In many ways, the America of his memories was not the America of 1960. The changes he encountered left him more than a little perplexed and frustrated.
That’s the way it is, isn’t it? We really “can’t go home again.” The more we want to keep things the same the more they change. Our world is changing right before our very eyes! It’s out of our control to make time stand still, even if we wanted to. As we age, subtle and not so subtle changes occur in our lives no matter how hard we work to ward them off. That’s just the nature of life. When Erin and I travel, I get a kick out of watching young families just starting out, trying to cope with the exigencies of children, pets and jobs. I can’t help but laugh at their trials and tribulations. I try to encourage them by telling them it won’t always be this way – it only gets worse!
The one constant in our lives is God’s love for all of God’s people. No matter the changes, God is still in charge. That knowing comforts me – it gives me strength and courage to continue moving forward. At the end of the day, I know the God who granted me this day will protect me as I sleep, and will bring me, refreshed, to a new day. How long that will last, I haven’t got the foggiest idea. But I do know that at the end of my days, the God who birthed me will be the One who welcomes me home to the New Jerusalem, the city where God resides. Do I miss the highways and byways of my youth? Of course, I do! But with the advent of new highways comes new adventures, and that gives me great hope for the future!
Grace & Peace, Kent

Wednesdays at Ten

Starting on Wednesday morning, September 11, at 10am in the Pastor’s Office, we will begin a new study of the Gospel of Mark. This study is part of the “New Testament for Everyone Series” by N.T. Wright. Wright’s eye-opening comments on the Gospel of Mark and what it might mean for us are combined, passage-by-passage, with his fresh translation of the Bible text. Making use of his true scholar’s understanding, yet writing in an approachable and anecdotal style, Wright captures the urgency and excitement of Mark’s Gospel in a way few writers have.
So, join us, won’t you, for this spiritually enlightening time of fellowship and study each Wednesday morning at 10am. Your life will be enriched, and your faith deep-ened! Companion books for the study will be available on Sunday mornings.

Peace and Global Witness Offering

The church of all times struggles with the distance between our time frame and expectations and God’s. In God’s time, the fears we carry can be transformed into new partnership and hope. In God’s time, our expectations can be expanded and surpassed by God’s faithfulness. The 2019 Peace and Global Witness Offering encourages the church of our time to cast off anxiety and fear, discord and division, and embrace our reconciling God’s mission to those near and around the world. It is boundless peace God offers. May the Lord grant us peace in all times in all ways.